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Naming genes

Robin L. Wright wrightr at ZOOLOGY.WASHINGTON.EDU
Wed May 25 21:01:42 EST 1994

I am sorry that I was not able to attend the recent meeting at which  
gene naming was discussed.  [I hear it was the best yet (and the food  
was good, too).]  Nevertheless, I wuld like to add my 2-cents worth  
to the gene naming discussion.

My vote is to keep the dash after the gene name and before the  
number.  The major reason is for clarity when the third letter could  
be mistaken for a number.  For example, bcl1 and SWI1 are difficult  
to read on many type faces.  bcl-1 and SWI-1 are much clearer in  
print.  Thus, your favorite gene would become YFG-1 and mutant  
alleles would be yfg-1-1 etc.   

In addition, I think that reserving the all capital letters for the  
wild-type allele and distinguishing dominant mutant alleles with a  
"D" would be preferable.  This convention would require less  
knowledge from an uninformed reader - that is, one would not have to  
figure out whether the all capitals gene name is the wild-type or the  
mutant.  It would always be wild-type.  Likewise, mutant alleles  
would always be lower case.

I know that these suggestions are not consistent with the current  
yeast terminology conventions (which are the ones Susan Dutcher has  
proposed).  But, I think that these suggestions allow the information  
they carry information to be unambiguous.

Robin Wright  

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